3 Apr 2023

Live Well Growers – Jo

Amy Henderson


 (and bakes us amazing cakes nearly every week)


My name is Jo and after having a brain injury nearly three years ago, I have been very fortunate to attend groups that are there to help people through their recovery. I’ve done walks, surfability, an art group, and a gardening group at the National Botanic Gardens – we call ourselves the “Live Well Growers”.

All have been very good sources of therapy and relaxation. I have met some lovely people along the way who have gone through similar things or more, and all the staff/neurologists, and  occupational health therapists have been amazing and very supportive. When you’re not having a good time it’s so nice to wake up in the morning knowing you’ve got a group to go to, something to look forward to and to go and meet “My Gardening Family ”.

Today we were planning  the layout of the garden for the future, its already changed so much since I started. We all drew what we thought the garden should look like and other things we would like to see in the garden. What we were thinking about a lot was – more raised beds of different heights in the garden for easier access for weeding, planting seeds or transferring plants, for people with different mobility problems. Areas then for people who find it easier to get around.

We agreed where to put a new  shed to have more space to store our tools so that our Poly Tunnel that was put up last year can be used more for starting new seeds and plants off or some shelter if the weather gets too bad.

I’d like for the garden to have an area where some wild flowers could be planted to encourage wildlife in, bees are good to have around to help pollinate plants and flowers, and maybe also a couple of bird tables around and some wooden plaques on with people’s thoughts on the garden or to remind people to remember to relax , rest and enjoy.

I think that an area that could be a relaxing area to just sit and enjoy your surroundings which would be good for people who might just want to relax from the garden work sometimes, as there’s always plenty to do in the garden, but I think it’s also important for anyone to have that time when they need it. Also it would be good for an outside table where people could plant seeds etc in the fresh air or it could also be used to give people a chance to try something new like drawing, painting, crocheting, but obviously Garden first.

Everybody’s issues and problems are different so what I hope also continues with the group people, old, present and new people starting that friendships are made along the way. Enjoy and Be Happy.